3 Ways to Enhance Your Curb Appeal

Owning a home has its perks. One of the perks involves the ability to customize the design to your liking. Sure, you may live in a home with a strict HOA. However, there are always fun things you can do to personalize your home and make it look beautiful from the outside. If you’re scratching your head regarding what changes need to take place, consider trying these three ideas first.

1. Window & Door Decor

Windows and exterior doors are great places to display your personal style. The best way to make a decorative statement is through the colors you choose. If you have shutters, paint them a complementary color to the door. A growing trend in design involves homes with brightly colored doors. Colors like bright yellow, red and cobalt blue are great options. A great way to decorate the doors involves wreaths. Door wreaths aren’t for Christmas time alone. You can create wreaths for each season. For example, a spring wreath filled with tulips would be beautiful. A summer wreath filled with greenery, twine and sunflowers would make a nice, bold statement. For fall, choose a wreath decorated with fall leaves and mums. If you’re not crazy about wreaths, consider trying the first letter of the family name and hanging it from the door. Don’t be afraid to get creative and push the envelope.

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2. Landscaping

Landscape design Jacksonville is quite the task. Gardening, planting flowers and figuring out the design are all rewarding yet very time-consuming. A landscape designer has tons of experience in different settings and can create the most complimentary design for your home. Don’t be afraid to go online and look at landscaped homes that inspire. Bookmark a few of them and show them to your designer. This is helpful for reference, but ultimately your designer will create and customize a beautiful layout that works perfectly for your home.

3. Lighting

Lighting makes a big difference in a space. Even though more people see a home during the daylight hours, there will be times when people visit at night. It is always nice to have a beautiful curb appeal at any time of day. In this case, line the walkway of your home with beautiful lighting. It is considerate of your guests. It also looks uniformed and professional. It gives off the clear impression that you care about your property and in return, you treat it well.

It may be a good idea to handle this project one step at a time. Don’t try to do all three ways at one time. As you finish one project, it will give you inspiration for the next one.

Buying the Best Cooking Supplies Online

You can buy pretty much anything you can think of online these days. Cooking supplies are certainly no exception. There are literally thousands of places on the Internet where you will be able to buy just about every type of cooking equipment known to man. However, online stores will tend to vary greatly in the prices they charge for their cooking supplies. So it becomes a matter of doing your homework and learning where you can get the highest quality supplies and save some money at the same time. Here are some details to consider that will allow you to find outstanding cooking supplies while you are shopping online.

1. How long has the site been around?

You should not buy your cooking supplies from the first site that has exactly what you are looking for. You need to be cautious when you are buying anything online. There are many new sites that pop up every day. Many of these sites are not reputable. This is why you should only do business with cooking supply sites that have been around for a long time and established a track record of excellent customer service. Visit airfryerreviews.com.au to check out a site with innovative cooking products that might interest you.

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2. What is their return policy?

There is always the chance that you might not be satisfied with the cooking supplies that you buy online. You will then need to return the product to get a refund. However, cooking supply sites do not all have the same return policies. You need to carefully read and understand the return policy of any site that you are planning to do business with. This will ensure that there are no surprises if you need to return something in the future. You should only buy your cooking supplies from a site that will give you a refund without asking why you are returning the item.

3. Customer product reviews

You will find various sites that allow customers to leave their reviews of products that they have purchased on the site. These reviews are very helpful if you are unfamiliar with a certain product and you want to learn more about it. Try to buy your cooking products from sites where you will be able to share your experiences using a product with future customers. Your review will be helping people the same way that other reviews have helped you.

Choosing a Flower as Gift for a Loved One? Here’s How You Choose!

This might come as a shocker, but giving flowers isn’t just for men, nor is it only for women to enjoy. Sarcasm aside, choosing a flower as a gift for a loved one, whether it is your husband, your wife, a brother, sister, grandparents, relatives, — even neighbours – is a great idea.

Depending on the colour on the arrangement of bouquet, the emotion one feels will be a tad different. From the passionate red of a rose, to the pure white of a calla lily, to the fun exuberance in a bouquet of golden tulips, the type and colour of birthday flowers sends an emotional message.

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Consider these meanings when choosing a flower as a birthday gift so that you communicate exactly what you intend.

White flowers. White flowers are mostly associated with innocence and purity. The fresh white blossoms represent perfection and honesty. White flowers are ideal when you want to communicate that amazing combination of pure, thoughtful love and undying fidelity. For most people, white roses are the perfect bridal flower. White flowers include white orchids, white carnations, white calla lilies, white daisies.

Red flowers. Fresh red flowers send the powerful and clear message of intense romantic love. Red is the undeniable colour of passion and any red flower arrangement or bouquet will communicate your powerful and strong love. It is the closest symbolic likeness to our heart. Red flowers include red carnations, red tulips, red Gerbera daisies, and of course – red roses.  Give this as a gift to show message of passion and desire.

Yellow flowers. Yellow is the colour of sunshine, friendship and filial love. It shows trust, respect, and compassion. Dues to this, yellow flowers are the popular choice in the workplace to show appreciation for a job well done.  It also communicates sympathy. Give it to show your compassion and warmth and renew ties of friendship, even at trying times. This includes yellow lilacs, yellow chrysanthemums, yellow daffodils, etc.

Blue flowers. Deep, rich blues offer serenity and calming effect. They calm the emotions and create a contemplative mood, kind of like lying on your back and watching clouds float across a bright, blue sky. Consider too the pure bliss of staring out at the calm blue sea. Blue flowers also bring closeness, and are perfect flowers for long-term lovers who want to show their deep and abiding loyalty. The peace from blue flowers also makes them appropriate as a get well flower.

Combination flowers. Mixing the passion of red flower to the innocence and purity of white flowers sends a signal of excitement and harmony. Combining flower types and colours transcend their meaning and offer a touch of excitement wrapped in pure elegance.

Reading this article, you might have thought of some people who would love or need to receive such birthday flowers. Personally, I assess how I feel for the person and what he or she felt about me before choosing the best flower to give as a gift. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to choose the perfect one that suits the recipient. Good luck!

Photo courtesy of nuttakit from www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Balance, Sanitize and Shock: Keeping the Water in Your Hot Tub or Spa Clean and Pristine

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While many hot tubs and home spas come complete with some cleaning technology, there will still be certain things that you need to do in order to keep them in pristine condition. Dirty water can lead to rashes and infections, which is why it’s important to keep on top of your cleaning. The below guide offers you practical advice on cleaning your hot tub, because even though your water may be crystal clear, it may still be harboring bugs and dirt.

Sanitizing Your Hot Tub 

Whether you’ve got an Intex 77in PureSpa installed in your home, or you have an inflatable hot tub in the garden, sanitizing the water is a must. This helps to kill any unwanted germs, which can grow at rapid rates in the warm water of your tub.

One of the most popular sanitizers is chlorine, which is a chemical that is widely used for cleaning swimming pools. Swimming pools often use trichlor but it is the other type of chlorine (dichlor) that you’ll want to use in your home spa or hot tub. The issue with trichlor is its corrosive nature, particularly when placed in warmer waters, which could damage the surface of your hot tub and affect the warranty it has come with.

By putting the right amount of chlorine in your home spa (always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as amounts will vary depending on the water, usage etc.) this won’t just help to sanitize the water but will also help to prevent any side-effects from using the chlorine, such as smells, itches or rashes. Chlorine comes in a variety of forms, including granules and tablets, and is a must-have when cleaning your spa.

Other forms include using a shock method where you use an oxidizing agent to remove the impurities.

Cleaning Your Hot Tub

One of the easiest ways to thoroughly clean your hot tub or home spa is to empty all of the water out and replace it at regular intervals. This doesn’t just mean taking all of the water out, giving the sides a scrub and replacing the water but will also involve cleaning the filter.

Cleaning your hot tub filter will help to increase its efficiency, meaning the water is kept cleaner for longer, regardless of how much you use it. A lot of hot tub manufacturers will provide cleaning kits for the filters that help to add to its lifespan so you don’t have to replace it as frequently. Taking the time to clean your filter regularly will help to add at least a year onto its life, saving you a lot of money in the long run.

So, there are some great and simple ways to keep your hot tub clean, with most of them just requiring a little more time from you and not much expense. If you practice these techniques on a regular basis, you won’t just be keeping your water in pristine condition but you’ll also be adding the longevity of your tub too.

Michael Davey is a service technician for pools and hot tubs. He is often asked for basic care/maintenance tips and has started to write some articles to share his tips.

Photo courtesy: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ec/Home-spa.jpg

Guinea Pig Care Illnesses and Diseases: Prevention and Treatment Tips for Owners

Guinea pigs are adorable little creatures and great family pets, but they can be prone to a number of different illnesses and diseases.

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From feeding newborn pets to caring them as they get older, looking after your guinea pig involves have a reasonable level of understanding as to what you can do to prevent or treat a variety of issues that they might be affected by.

Family unit or solo – can make a difference

If you choose to keep a single guinea pig or prefer to have a group of them to keep each other company as well as enjoying your social interaction, this will make a difference to the sort of illnesses and diseases that they are more likely to suffer from.

You will often find that infectious diseases like various strains of a virus or bacteria are more common when you keep more than one guinea pig. When you just have the one pet, it does leave them more susceptible to issues like reproductive disorders, dental disease and various problems that result through aging.

All guinea pigs are vulnerable to disease and illnesses at some level, regardless of whether they live alone or in a group, but you need to try and keep an eye on their health as they can develop complications quite quickly, especially as they get older.

Prevention better than cure

Guinea pigs do not often cope well with illness or diseases and there is no doubt that prevention of health problems through proactive care and assessment, is much better than trying to put them back on the mend.

Many guinea pigs are likely to become stressed when they become ill and although you may think that you are being kind and caring by holding it, you are often better leaving them alone so that they don’t get any more stressed than they already are.

One of the big problems with treating guinea pigs is that they don’t always respond well to antibiotics, which can give them problems in their digestive tract. If your guinea pig does have to take some antibiotics on veterinary advice, it can develop side-effects such as dehydration, diarrhea, loss of appetite and drop in their body temperature.

Improper diet

Your guinea pig can easily suffer from a digestive disorder if they are fed an improper diet.

Make sure that they get a reasonable amount of roughage in their diet and keep a check on the level of grains and sugars they are consuming, especially when they are showing signs of suffering from diarrhea.

Access to a regular supply of clean water is always important and be vigilant about removing any uneaten food, as this will help to prevent them from developing an infection.

The best advice for keeping your pet guinea pig as healthy as possible and to allow them to enjoy a long and happy life, is to care for them by cleaning their bed regularly, feeding them correctly, and keeping an eye out for any signs of distress or illness.

Nicole Forney works as a veterinary assistant and loves going to work every day to cuddle the critters! She has picked up a wealth of knowledge through her job and likes to education pet owners on the best care of their animals through her articles.